02. GRANTS FROM JAPAN INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AGENCY (JICA) FORMARITIME SAFETY CAPACITIES IMPROVEMENT
The Government of Japan has agreed to grant assistances including a 30 metre long 2 petrol vessels to the Department of Coast Guard for broadening operations undertaken by the Department in Sri Lankan Coasts. The proposal made by Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, to enter into a grant agreement with the JICA for obtaining a grant of 1,830,000,000 Japanese Yen (Approximately Rs. 2,400 million) on the above purpose, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
03. SUBMISSION OF THE ANNUAL REPORT OF THE CENTRAL BANK OF SRI LANKA FOR THE YEAR 2015 TO THE PARLIAMENT
Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, has presented the Annual Report 2015 of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka that includes, state of the economy, account activities of the Central Bank, Major administrative provisions adopted according to the finance policy in the last year, adopted laws and statistics to the Cabinet of Ministers, and the Cabinet of Ministers have approved to submit it in the parliament.
04. REVISION OF FINES FOR OFFENCES RELATED TO RAILWAY PASSENGER TICKETS
Although the railway service offers transport facilities to passengers at extremely concessionary rates, it has been reported that a considerable number of passengers neglect to pay the fare for passenger tickets and ride in carriages of higher classes than that they have paid the fair for. Considering the proposal made by Hon. Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, to increase the fines for offences related to railway tickets with the view of providing a safe and efficient railway service, increasing the income of the railway department, and to discourage passengers who travel in the train without paying the fare, the Cabinet of Ministers have approved to increase the existing maximum fine from Rs. 1,500/- to Rs. 3,000/-.
05. IMPLEMENTING THE SECOND PHASE OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE DENTAL INSTITUTE, COLOMBO
It has been planned to develop the Dental Institute, Colombo with the state of the art technology in two phases for cater the increasing demand in the oral health treatment services and to undertake teaching requirements in the dental health field. Its first phase has already been completed and under the second phase it is proposed to build a nine storied building for broadening facilities in Out Patients Department, theatres, wards, X-ray unit, storage facilities, and facilities in administrative and other units and introducing new facilities in the laboratory. The proposal made by Hon. Rajitha Senarathne, Minister of Health Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, to implement the second phase of improving the Dental Institute, Colombo at an estimated cost of Rs. 1,200 million, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
06. CONSTRUCTION OF A BUILDING COMPLEX FOR THE TECHNICAL COLLAGE, VAVUNIYA
The Technical Collage, established in Vavuniya District, of the Department of Technical Education and Training which is under the purview of the Ministry of Skills Development and Vocational Training, offers about 19 training courses for youths and about 500 students are annually being registered.Space and other facilities in this Technical College are insufficient. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Mahinda Samarasinghe, Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training, to construct a building complex at an estimated cost of Rs. 114 million that includes lecture halls, buildings for practical activities, quarters for officers, computer laboratories, a library and a water tank and other infrastructure, and to conduct capacity building programmes for its staff at an estimated cost of Rs. 04 million, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
07. ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN THROUGH APPAREL BASED MINI FACTORIES
Above programme expects to encourage small and medium scale entrepreneurs in approaching the international market and provide job opportunities for rural women.The priority will be given to those who belong to displaced families and who became widows due to the war. Rural women selected through a transparent method would be given training in tailoring by the Sri Lanka Institute of Textile and Apparel and entrepreneurship development and training will be given by the National Entrepreneurship Development Authority and the Industrial Development Board. Assistance in designing will be provided by the National Design Centre and the Jathika Shilpa Sabawa. Sale of produced garments will be done by coordinating exporters and national level buyers with the rural level. It is proposed to be implemented in selected districts including Eastern and Uva Provinces. Hence,the proposal made by Hon. Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce, to implement this programme and to establish 150 mini factories of cooperative/joint ventures model with trained women in 2016 as the first phase, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
08. AMENDMENTS TO THE TEA CONTROL ACT NO. 51 OF 1957
The proposal made by Hon. Navin Dissanayake, Minister of Plantation Industries, to amend the Tea Control Act No. 51 of 1957 by replacing the Sinhalese term 'li< f;a' used for refuse tea with the more appropriate term 'm%;slafIams; f;a'and increasing the powers of the minister to make orders regarding refuse tea, and by increasing the maximum fine for an offender from Rs. 50,000/- to Rs. 500,000/- and the maximum amount that can be charged in compounding of the offence from Rs. 10,000/- to Rs. 500,000/-, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
09. INTRODUCTION OF ENERGY PERFORMANCE STANDARDS AND ENERGY LABELLING FOR FLUORESCENT LAMPS AND LAMP BALLASTS
The electricity field is rapidly developing in the country with the supply of 100% electricity by expanding the grid to rural areas and with the development in industrial and commercial sectors. Respectively, 37% and 27% of overall consumption of the country is done by domestic and business sectors. Considerable amount of the consumption (about 30%) in both sectors are spent for Double Capped Tubular Fluorescent Lamps and Ballasts. It has been estimated that by importing efficient double capped fluorescent lamps and ballast through introduction of energy performance standards, 85 GWh of electricity can be saved annually. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, Minister of Power and Renewable Energy, to publish energy labelling orders in the gazette with the powers vested to the minister by the provisions stipulated in the Sustainable Energy Authority Act No. 35 of 2007 for regulating the quality of double capped fluorescent lamps and ballasts to make demonstration of energy performance standards compulsory for the information of the public, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
10. MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA AND PORTUGAL ON RECOGNITION OF CERTIFICATES ISSUED TO SEAFARERS
A Seafarer who possesses a competency certificate should obtain a certificate of recognition, to serve in a ship that flies a flag of a foreign country, which is issued by the country where the ship is registered. A convention or a MoU should be signed with relevant states to issue such a certificate. Sri Lanka has already entered into such agreements with 29 countries. It will help in providing the opportunity for Sri Lankan seafarers who have obtained the competency certificate to serve in foreign ships. Government of Portugal has agreed to enter into such an agreement and the proposal made by Hon. Arjuna Ranatunga, Minister of Ports and Shipping, to enter into a MoU with Portugal for the issue of recognition of certificates, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
11. DOUBLING OF TRACK BETWEEN POLGAHAWELA AND KURUNEGALA ON NORTHERN RAILWAY LINE
Reconstruction of Northern and Thalaimannar railway tracks under the Indian line of credit has been substantially completed. Even after the completion of above task it has been estimated that US$ 30 million will be remained. The proposal made by Hon. Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, to utilize that remaining funds in doubling the track from Polgahawela to Kurunegala with an improved signal system, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
12. MATARA STAGE IV WATER SUPPLY PROJECT
Considering the urgent need and importance of implementing the above project for providing safe drinking water for residents in 231 Grama Niladhari Divisions in Matara and suburbs, the Ministerial Committee on Economic Management has recommended the implementation of the project under loan assistance of the National Development Bank. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Rauff Hakeem, Minister of City Planning and Water Supply, to award the above contract as recommended by the Cabinet Appointed Standing Procurement Committee, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
13. UPGRADING OF HEALTH FACILITIES IN HOSPITALS UNDER CHINESE ASSISTANCE
Above project was planned in 2010 with the view of improving health facilities in North Eastern Provinces that have been affected by 30 year-long conflict. The proposal made by Hon. Rajitha Senarathne, Minister of Health Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, to use the funds granted by the Government of China subject to a financial limit of US$ 85 million, in improving health facilities covering the whole island by widening the scope of the project and to purchase essential equipment and to construct buildings in selected hospitals including provincial hospitals, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
14. PROJECT FOR LAYING OF PIPELINES FROM COLOMBO PORT TO KOLONNAWA
Considering the urgent requirement of implementing the above project, the proposal made by Hon. Chandima Weerakkody, Minister of Petroleum Resources Development, to implement the above project by the most suitable procurement method which is Government to Government method as recommended by the Cabinet Appointed Procurement Committee, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
15. BILATERAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN UKRAINE AND SRI LANKA ON MUTUAL LEGAL ASSISTANCE IN CRIMINAL MATTERS
International mutual legal assistance in criminal matters is becoming increasingly important to combat such crimes. The Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act No. 25 of 2002 provides for the provisions of assistance by Sri Lanka to foreign countries and regarding criminal matters in those countries and for obtaining of similar assistance from such countries to Sri Lanka. The proposal made by Hon. Dr. Wijayadasa Rajapaksa, Minister of Justice, to enter into the above agreement to improve the effectiveness of law enforcement of both parties in the investigation, prosecution and prevention of crime and confiscation of criminal proceeds, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
16. INTER-MINISTERIAL COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Government's policy is to uphold, promote and protect the human rights of Sri Lankan people. Sri Lankan government should provide measures to human rights issues to perform international bonds which have been entered into voluntarily and to strengthen the national reconciliation process, freedom and democracy, and it will also make the background for economic development of the country. As the five year human rights action plan implemented from 2012-2016 expires in this year the proposal made by Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs, to appoint an Inter-ministerial Committee to consider all facts related to human rights for the preparation of National Action Plan on Human Rights for the period 2017-2021, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.